AoT Lore: Politics

Hey Rerollers,

In my last blog post, I spoke about some of the exciting rules changes I’m making to Amulet of Thrayax – you can find that post here.

In this next instalment of my fortnightly Amulet of Thrayax blog, I’m going to be talking about the not-so-democratic politics in Heraldsham and the city of Bleakpyre, the setting of the game…

PREPARE FOR GOVERNMENT!

In theory, Heraldsham is a monarchy, with an elected advisory council.

However, in reality, the King prefers to gorge himself on the pleasures of regal life, whilst the Council are corrupt, power hungry cronies who will do anything for money. This leaves their puppet masters, the ominous Circle, pulling all the strings of government for their own nefarious purposes.

The King

“Andea’s Chosen, Eternal Champion, Keeper of the Torch, Holder of the Spoons, His Grace King Gilleroy Dorftrottel Hebsworth VI”, is the full title of King Hebsworth of Heraldsham.

Whilst most recognise his name, his exaggerated portraits, featuring a chiselled and muscly hero, often causes this small, portly, red faced man to be mistaken for your average, run-of-the-mill noble.

Within government, he has a reputation of being a serial blunderer, often caught in unsavoury and highly embarrassing situations, which the tireless Circle routinely cover up. It has long been suspected that as soon as his daughter, Ursula, is old enough to rule, the Circle will engineer an unfortunate “accident” that will rid them of this liability.

The Circle

The Circle are the real power in Heraldsham. Hooded in black robes, the Circle are terrifying shades, that seemingly appear out of nowhere and float from shadow to shadow, berating councillors, amending decrees and censoring correspondence.

Not much is known about them, except that they have been pulling the strings for as long as anyone in the government can remember. No one has ever seen them eat, sleep, get ill, or die, and who they work for (if anyone) and their true intentions are a mystery. Unfortunately, anyone brave enough to enquire about them ends up disappearing…

The king of Heraldsham being manipulated by several black robed figures
‘…YOU MISSPELLED SOVEREIGNTY…’

The Council

You could sail a boat with the amount of rigging that occurs during the Council elections.

First, only a handful of landed nobles even have the vote, and those that do tend to support their most “generous” chums. Then, their position has to be confirmed by the King, who has a list of donors and he’s checking it twice.

Finally, all things must be approved by the Circle. If they don’t feel they can adequately coax or blackmail a newly elected Councillor, a recount miraculously finds their opponent pipped them to the post.

Here are some of the more notable councillors currently in office:

Lord Perciville Augustus Ambrosius-expialidocious Lionsmane
Whilst the King is actually inept, the Leader of the Council Lord Lionsmane simply likes to pretend he is to avoid scrutiny. Any time his self-serving pursuits put the Council into disrepute, he will often don a funny hat or forget to put on this trousers, and all is conveniently forgotten. He fervently denies that the excessive number of dead cats he brings to Council meetings has caused pet insurance prices to sky rocket in his surrounding area.

Lady Sapphire Sophoria Whitch
A formidable, hulking figure, Lady Whitch is Master of the Dungeons. Usually a clerical role, she has taken the rather unorthodox approach of becoming judge, jury and executioner (with much glee it seems). Whenever there is a dispute with another nation, she is often sent as Heraldan’s representative and her streak of successful conflict resolutions have proven that it’s neither the pen nor sword, but rather Whitch’s fists which are the mightiest.

Duke Snibbley Hobblesbottom
Duke Hobblesbottom is lord of the city of Bleakpyre and it’s surrounding lands. Given the populous of Bleakpyre’s reputation as the foulest and most awful of all Heraldans, Hobblesbottom somehow still comes out as a bad apple. His favourite past times are scheming, professional peasant racing (himself one of the jockeys), and stealing children’s pets. He welcomes Thraymania, the cult-led purge that occurs every five years, seeing it as a chance to profit off of the chaos – just so long as he is nowhere near when it happens.

Lord Ruskin Traughton
The Council’s Head Lord, Lord Traughton is in charge of accountability. Instead of being elected in, the Head Lord is appointed by the Leader of the Council. A pious man, Traughton sees himself as the guardian of democracy, fighting greed and corruption, and that would be true if it wasn’t for his crippling fear of anything coloured purple (Lionsmane denies this had any bearing on his decision to appoint Traughton).

Unfortunately, it just so happened that shortly before his appointment, the Council voted that all furniture and hangings in the palace should be recoloured a pleasant purple. As a result, Traughton hasn’t once set foot inside the palace and his crusade for justice has mostly been reporting any councillors who park their carriages in no park zones.

THANKS FOR READING

If you’ve reached this point, thank you so much – it’s very warming to know that you’re reading (and hopefully enjoying) these posts.

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As always, your support is much appreciated and if you’re celebrating it, I hope you have a great Christmas!

Thanks,

Tom, and the TnR team

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